“Hong Kong’s one-man answer to National Geographic”

South China Morning Post Magazine

Welcome to DocMartin

Packed with information, fabulous photos and videos, chiefly on wildlife, conservation, science and travel – especially in Hong Kong and across Asia.

Wildlife

Hong Kong Black Kites

Hong Kong Black Kites

As high-rises crowd both sides of Victoria Harbour, there is little wildlife in the heart of Hong Kong – so people can be surprised to look up and see large birds of prey gliding overhead. These…

Beidaihe Can Create Exciting Bird Reserve

Beidaihe Can Create Exciting Bird Reserve

[Based on speech I gave to audience inc leaders, at Beidaihe in May 2009] I first visited Beidaihe in spring 1985, as leader of an 8-member expedition studying bird migration. At the time, Beidaihe was almost unknown…

conservation

World’s Birds Akin to Canaries in Coalmine as Human Impacts Continue Apace

World’s Birds Akin to Canaries in Coalmine as Human Impacts Continue Apace

On 4 May 2022, the Annual Review of Environment and Resources published an advance version of a paper titled “State of the World’s Birds” by nine authors including Alex Lees, who was…

Fightback Needed as Science and Life Support System Under Attack

Fightback Needed as Science and Life Support System Under Attack

Growing up in the 1970s, I loved the outdoors and wildlife, and was highly impressed by the environmental movement, which to me seemed brimful of energy and optimism. “Save the…

science

Covid is airborne so ventilation and air filtration are important

Covid is airborne so ventilation and air filtration are important

Since early in the pandemic, I’ve been seeing scientists arguing Covid is airborne, even with hashtag #covidisairborne – including to counter notions it is spread by droplets [short range], which…

Long Covid – info and links indicating major impact

Long Covid – info and links indicating major impact

While deaths from Covid have proven most newsworthy, evidence is snowballing that Long Covid is also a serious issue, even affecting people in whom the disease initially appeared mild. Here,…

travel

Guangxi’s Volcano in the Sea – Weizhou; and Beihai, City with an Old Street

Guangxi’s Volcano in the Sea – Weizhou; and Beihai, City with an Old Street

Though I’ve read on travel websites that Weizhou Island is volcanic, and seen maps showing a  headland curling partway around the main bay, in the south, it’s only when on arriving…

Exploring Shanxi: temples, natural beauty and Pingyao, the Banking Centre that Died with a Dynasty

Exploring Shanxi: temples, natural beauty and Pingyao, the Banking Centre that Died with a Dynasty

Though its setting is unusual – nestled in a forested ravine, deep within Shanxi province, Sheng Shou Temple mainly appears like many temple complexes I’ve visited in China. There are buildings…